Ask Lorraine – Can I run a business from my Tamworth rental property?

🙋  Tenants Question: 

My tenancy states no pets but the agent has allowed me to keep two rabbits as long as they stay outdoors.

I’m now considering starting a business to look after rabbits when people go away on holiday. I don’t want to let my agent know what I’m thinking of doing and they will never find out as they never visit the property. If anybody complains to the agent and they do happen to find out, will I lose my tenancy?

Lorraine’s Answer:

Many landlords do have a no pets policy, however there is an unknown legal loophole which allows tenants to keep rabbits and chickens.

Natasha Brooks, a tenant with New Charter Housing Trust in Greater Manchester, came across this loophole. After an inspection by a housing officer, the trust had threatened  her with action, they were claiming she had breached her tenancy agreement.

Natasha fought her case and the housing trust backed down after she found Section 12 of The Allotments Act 1950. She stated that her tenancy agreement with a“no pets” clause did not specifically mention rabbits and chickens, the law gives  the right to the ‘occupier of any land’ which would include assured shorthold tenancy agreements.

There are legal obligations:-

Keeping rabbits and chickens as pets is allowed, but they cannot be kept so as to  used in a business or for any trade purposes i.e selling eggs to neighbours and friends would break the conditions.

The keeping of rabbits and chickens must not cause a nuisance to neighbours or a health issue.  If the chickens were constantly noisy or rats became a problem, this would most likely mean the right to keep them would be withdrawn.

Penny  and Henny continued to live in the back garden of Ms Brooks house.

So yes you can keep your rabbits as pets,  however  you should check  your tenancy agreement for a clause that prohibits running a business from your rental home. If you do, you will most likely be in breach of your tenancy and will fall foul with your agent and Landlord.

No Pets allowed!

No Pets!!

Until Next week.